1. I’m back.
2. I think. So I need to get things — perhaps old, stale things to you — off my chest.
3. Uhm, let’s see. Oh. Just so you know: Gay cabaret singer Adam Lambert will win this season of American Idol. But oh yawnnn. He bores me, pippa. In my opinion he’s too specifically gay and needs to tone down his fabulousness if he wants to reach a wider audience. I see him either continuing to work in cabarets and clubs or fronting a band a la Freddie Mercury. I don’t see him as a solo artist. He’s a specific kind of performer, to me. Over the top. Self-indulgent. Clearly, he’s the best singer in the bunch, but … bleeah. The audience seems to love him and I do think he’ll win, but then the audience loved Taylor Hicks, too, and just a couple of weeks ago Hicks couldn’t even succeed in giving away — literally — tickets to his concert. So winning AI is obviously no guarantee of huge success. Lambert always teeters on the edge of being too much for me. Too affected. In that homogenous AI venue … by himself … it doesn’t work for me. Elsewhere, I could see it. Oh, and lose the Liza Minnelli hairdo, hon. Gah. His hair is very discouraging to me. Although my opinion of his hair likely won’t keep him from winning. He’ll win if he can keep his self-indulgence and excesses in check. But, overall, I’m kind of bored with AI these days. I watch intermittently and don’t even know from week to week who gets voted off. Doesn’t hold my attention so much this time around. The outcome seems like a done deal to me.
4. On the other hand, I cannot get enough of America’s Next Top Model. I came to this show late — only started watching a couple of seasons ago. This may sound like a weird word to use, but I love the generosity of this show. Unlike American Idol, which is very guarded and limited about how the contestants are presented, Top Model allows you to see the girls at the house they share, having their cat fights, bitching to the camera, throwing up, you know, whatever model wannabe’s generally do. You get to see what goes into a photo shoot from the perspective of the shoot director, the photographer, the model. You learn what it actually takes to be a model and, guess what, it’s harder than people think. You hear the judges’ critiques to the models’ faces and then you hear their critiques behind their backs, my favorite part. Tyra and her fellow judges are brutal and catty and sometimes hilarious. And that’s what I mean by “generous.” Uhm, not that “brutal and catty and hilarious” equal “generous,” but that we’re given these various perspectives on the business and the process. It’s more dimensional than AI. We’re given more access. You know, American Idol, instead of adding a new strident judge, why not more behind-the-scenes moments? Why not more with the vocal coaching, how the songs are chosen, the ups and downs for the contestants? I imagine it’s because AI is very invested in these carefully calculated images of its potential moneymakers. The producer — Simon Fuller — has a vested interest in their successful careers; they sign contracts with his company. Top Model winners are given contracts with Elite Model Management, so I imagine the producer — Tyra — makes money not from the models’ careers, but from putting out the best show she can. No skin off her nose if the girls are catty bitches, which they frequently are. Just this week, a great moment, a stunning moment during judging. One of the girls, a real whiny self-doubter named Tahlia, kept expressing to anyone who would listen, “I suck. I’m not sure I should be here. Maybe I should go home. I think I wanna go home,” etc. The rest of the girls gathered together and agreed that if anyone else but Tahlia were sent home, they’d be pissed and maybe they should say something, you know? So the photo shoot — where they all posed as immigrants to Ellis Island — comes and goes and, magically, Tahlia’s shot was chosen the best of the week. It WAS amazing. She looked gorgeous. Not only was she not going home; she was TOPS for the week. So this week’s loser is selected and she’s about to hug Tyra goodbye and — oops, wait! — suddenly Celia, the oldest and most mature of the girls, steps up next to the loser and proceeds to throw Tahlia under the bus in front of everybody.
“Tyra, all week long she’s told everyone she doesn’t want to be here, so I don’t think sending someone else home is fair.”
Oh, Celia. Why? You’re one of the best in the house and now you just look petty. And, ohhh, pippa. Tyra ain’t havin’ none of it. Her huge eyes flash in anger.
“You know what I think is unfair, Celia? You saying this. That’s unfair. Tahlia has said nothing to me and nothing to the judges about this. We’ve made our decision. Take your place, Celia.”
Take your place, Celia.
Yeeowwwch. So beautiful and so dismissive.
Celia steps back into line, bows her head, and begins to cry.
Honestly, I cannot get enough of that crap right now.
5. Oh. Very important! A whispered conversation with MB in the pre-show semi-darkness of the theater where I ask him to see if he can pinpoint why I refuse to see the movie Milk.
“I know you know.”
“Remember, this is me we’re talking about, so think something stupid, then make it even more stupid.”
“Uhh …. you won’t see Milk because it’s called Milk.”
“Thaaat’s right, Crackie! Milk. Meeelk. I mean, what movies have “milk” in their titles? Okay, well, that Milk Money movie with what’s-er-name, uhm … Melanie Griffith. But that’s IT. I mean, what? Lord of the Milk?
“Milkin’ in the Rain”?
“12 Milky Men”?
“No Country for Old Milk”?
“How Stella Got Her Milk Back”?
We were losing it already, rapidly becoming those people you become wary of as you sit in the movie theater, waiting for the previews — you know, those loud, chatty people you worry will JUST NOT SHUT UP once the movie starts, but we could not help it; our self-amusement knew no bounds. And, basically, with that last one from MB, I was lost. Gone. Shaking in hysterics in my seat, repeating “How Stella Got Her Milk Back, How Stella Got Her Milk Back” over and over. I’m laughing about it right now. (And I did manage to calm down before the movie started.)
How many other fabulous new movies could be created by just changing one word of an old movie to some variation on “milk”? The possibilities are endless. Come on, Hollywood. Step up. I’m giving you gold here.
5. Snippet from the boardroom firing on “Celebrity Apprentice.” I caught a portion of this show last night — oh, who know why? But, apparently, Dennis Rodman is on this version and he’s falling apart, ditching projects, drinking constantly, being a worthless wanker. He seemed completely out of control to me last night and, yes, he does seem drunk most of the time. So the boardroom turns into this impromptu intervention. Hahaha, awesome. SO glad I saw this, because Jesse James, Sandra Bullock’s husband and custom motorcycle entrepreneur, flat out says, “Dennis basically has a drinking problem.” All the other celebs are sitting there — Joan and Melissa Rivers, Herschel Walker, Clint Black, etc., and they agree. They agree it’s bad and sad and Dennis just sits there with his sunglasses and his tats and his piercings looking like a douche. Jesse James, more articulate and savvy than I thought he’d be, continues to BRING IT, but he’s kind about it, empathizes with Rodman, “I used to have a problem, too.” He tells Rodman, “I’ve seen when we’re out on the street working a project together how people’s faces light UP when they see Dennis Rodman, and then when they approach you and try to talk to you, I’ve seen their faces fall with the disappointment of what you’re really like, man. It’s sad. We all like you and know there’s a good guy in there, but you have a problem.”
Others chime in with similar stories because Jesse James had the balls to open the door. Good for him. I mean, Brian McKnight had to tie Rodman’s tie for him, for God’s sake! He’s a mess.
Rodman tries to defend himself. “Phil Jackson said I was the best player he ever coached.”
Trump says, “Better than Michael Jordan?”
“Better than Jordan. Better than anyone. I won five championships. I never gave no one no trouble.”
Football great Herschel Walker chimes in. “But that was the past. We’re talking about the present, Dennis. What are you doing now?”
Ow. But maybe necessary coming from a fellow sports great. Oh, and also? Herschel Walker suffers from dissociative identity disorder, formerly called MPD — I Googled him — but all his team members on “Celebrity Apprentice” talk about what a rock he is, how solid he is. He seems that way. Plus, he’s yummy. Yummy scrummy.
Jesse James again. “All I wanna say is I’m sitting between two sports legends. Notice the difference.”
“You’re saying there’s a huge difference between Dennis and Herschel?” says Trump.
“Yes, sir,” say James.
Rodman interjects. “Outside of this boardroom, I can kick anybody’s ass at ANYTHING!”
“Well, then why don’t you kick our asses at being a good person?” says James.
Pippa, seriously. That has to be the best line on a “reality” show ever. Really, the best line I’ve heard in a long time in any venue: Why don’t you kick our asses at being a good person? Funny and poignant and TRUE. Jesse James is now my hero. Rodman really is messed up. Of course, he was fired, but everybody tried to hug him, wish him well, offer help, etc. It was actually really touching. I hope he got it, but I don’t think he did.
Now, go out and kick ass at being a good person, okay?